Public investment, and particularly infrastructure investment, is important for sustainable economic growth and development as well as public service provision. However, it is also vulnerable to capture and corruption. This publication examines the direct and indirect benefits of public investment if carried out in a clean and efficient manner. It provides a Framework for Integrity in Public Investment, mapping out risks of corruption at each phase of the investment cycle. It also identifies tools and mechanisms to promote integrity in the public investment cycle and provides examples of their successful implementation in both the public and private sectors.
Public Investment constitutes a significant share of GDP in OECD countries, close to 15% on average. Through it governments can promote sustainable economic growth and contribute to well-being through the provision of basic infrastructure and public services.
Many countries face infrastructure gaps, both in terms of quantity and quality. Influence by vested interests may result in negative return of productivity or excessive infrastructure, creating “white elephant” projects.
Corruption allegations concerning government-financed infrastructure projects are common. The large sums of money involved and the multiple stages and stakeholders implicated contribute to making them more vulnerable to undue influence.